A-Rod: Latest chink in baseball's armor

Sports Illustrated published a bombshell report this weekend saying that the Bronx bomber tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2003.

By , Staff Writer

The New York Yankee's all-star third baseman – baseball's golden boy and leading celebrity Alex Rodriguez (also known for his cozy friendship with pop icon Madonna) – caught doping?

Say it ain't so.

In its bombshell of a report published this weekend, Sports Illustrated cites four independent sources as confirming that A-Rod tested positive to performance-enhancing drugs back in 2003. It's the last thing Major League Baseball needs, which could be why it's staying quiet for now.

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"So it's semi-official now - nobody can save baseball's numbers," laments Ray Ratto, a sports columnist for The San Franciso Chronicle.

According to a report on SI.com authored by Selena Roberts and David Epstein, Alex Rodriguez, the man best positioned to overtake Barry Bonds' home run record and the game's most impressive offensive specimen, allegedly tested positive for testosterone and the anabolic steroid Primobolan in 2003. This after he denied early, often and publicly that he had ever used any performance-enhancing drugs, and long after he had been held aloft as the man who could save baseball from its decadeslong reputation as a glorified needle exchange program.

What about that Mitchell Report?

The news comes a little more than a year after former Sen. George Mitchell's thorough report on baseball's pervasive steroid culture, which the Monitor wrote about at the time.

Now Mitchell is busy tackling another tough problem: brokering peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But others are still focused on cleaning up the dugouts, such as Dr. Don Catlin, who was instrumental in uncovering the BALCO scandal - the one that ensnared more than a dozen top athletes, including Barry Bonds and Marion Jones.

Shift the burden of proof?

As good as he is at it though, Catlin is tiring of trying to find every last performance-enhancing drug – and every last athlete using one. As he explained in a Monitor profile last summer, he is working on a new paradigm in which athletes would be responsible for proving their innocence - rather than scientists and officials being responsible for proving their guilt.

So if you're tired of reading about the latest doping allegation, click here for a fresh view on how to preserve sport's integrity.

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